There is nothing more frustrating than seeing your advertising budget return less than it used to year on year – it was what got you to where you are now and yet it seems to be failing you when you need it most.
If you’re like most other business owners you’ve probably been using traditional advertising as a way to grow your business for a long time. Adverts in glossy magazines, newspaper ads and billboards all proved their worth time and time again and yet today you seem to be spending more for less return on investment (ROI).
Of course something has to change.
Suppose your good friend Jan said at the last Braai that his new business blog has driven truck loads of new leads his way and has decided to throw all his weight behind content marketing because it is proving to offer a higher ROI than his traditional advertising ever was.
So ever since that comment you’ve probably been Googling content marketing and may still be asking:
But what is content marketing?
By now you may now be aware of the phrase “content is king” which has generated a lot of buzz among online marketers and business owners. What you need to understand is that content marketing consists of pretty much everything online – every email, every tweet or Facebook post, every landing page, and every page description—they’re all examples of content.
Thus to sum it up: Content marketing is the use of content to communicates a message to the audience. The target goal for your business may be the attraction of potential customers, retention of existing ones, getting the word out there of your brand or your products, or really anything else that you may want to do using content.
Okay so how can content marketing benefit my business?
Some companies may have hesitated to begin content marketing as it often is difficult to really understand the benefits of content marketing. However the benefits can be broken down into 2 sections – the intangibles and the tangibles:
Strong brand awareness
Creating content gives your audience something to talk about. When they’re talking about you, they’re teaching each other about your company, passing recommendations and links around in the process.
Respect and admiration in the industry
Earning the respect and admiration of your audience takes time to build. Once you’ve proven your knowledge and integrity you can become the go-to company when everyone else is confusing the audience through their poorly constructed content or misleading advice simply for the sake of making the sale. This is where your authority will come in ensuring that customers choose you over your competition.
Indirect customer conversions
If you’re targeting potential customers through your content, you will be making the leap from visitors to customers that much closer, making it a far simpler process when they do decide to purchase. What must be remembered is that this is true regardless of whether or not your content even mentions what you’re selling.
Traffic may be the obvious benefit, but it’s also one of the most important. Creating great content will bring people to your site, where they’ll (hopefully) also find information about your company and your products/services.
Content creates so many benefits for your SEO that their are too many to list here. However great content often attracts editorial links, which tell Google you’re important and authoritative. Google can also crawl your content, getting a far better idea of what your company is about, allowing it to return your site for more relevant queries.
Direct customer conversions
Really great product descriptions that convince people you’ve got unique value to offer them—that what you have can level them up—will bring your customer numbers up like almost nothing else.
Okay so you’ve decided to blog now what?
We’re happy to have found this video from Infusionsoft featuring Andrew Davis, marketing expert and best-selling author, to share his thoughts on exactly how to form the foundations of a solid content marketing strategy.
In this video Andrew discusses:
- How and why you need to find out your niche target
- Developing loyalty between your niche and your business
- Building relationships
3 Things You Need to Know Before You Blog:
1.You need to find out your target niche
Start by knowing exactly who your target audience is – the more in-depth the better. Generic terms such as “people with pools” won’t cut it as the term is too broad. Targeting is so important because that’s where you get the premium, high-margin, high-profit business.
If you just want any business and you want everybody to call you and you want a high volume of leads, then creating any content will generate that. What you want is the high-quality leads, the leads that are going to become the right kind of business for you.
Go into your existing client database or your client list and look at who are your highest value customers, the ones where you get the high margin business from and who are the long-term relationships. That’s going to start to hone in on your target market where you just want to find more of exactly those people.
2. Get into your niche’s mindset and create value for them
To develop a great content marketing strategy you will need to consider what are the problems your target niche deal with every day. You really have to dive deep enough to find the value for that consumer and you’ve got to really spend the time to do it. Luckily, it’s not as hard as it sounds. The kinds of content you’re going to create for a targeted niche such as “Lawyers with a pool” will be very, very different from the generic “people with a pool” for example. So you will want to start with which target audience you’re going after to establish a sound content marketing strategy.
If you can create one piece of content every week that will help them be better at their job or help with their day-to-day concerns you’ll start building a relationship with them. That relationship will help build trust and that trust will help drive revenue.
Andrew’s motto? “Content builds relationships. Relationships build trust. And trust drives revenue.” Content marketing isn’t about content.
3. Developing relationships and building loyalty between your niche and your business
Andrew suggests starting with what he calls the loyalty loop. It’s the experience someone has from the moment they sign up for a service to the point which they refer that business to someone else. That creates a new set of loyalty loops and it’s basically a good referral model. So if you could imagine it as a moment of purchase and then the experience they have to a new moment of inspiration where they inspire someone to go a higher mark and start a new loyalty loop.
You could think of differentiating first the experience. What do you do differently, that sets you apart and makes the experience really unique and elevate that into the content you create, the way you advertise and even your approach to the marketplace.
So if you can start showing people you’re different instead of telling people you’re different, you’ll be much better off in the content you create and even the advertising you do.
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**Video was first seen on the Infusionsoft Blog